Tackling The Trades in 2024

In recent years, the landscape of career opportunities has undergone significant changes, with trade professions emerging as a cornerstone of the modern workforce. Whether you’re a student exploring future career paths or a seasoned professional contemplating a career change, delving into the trades in 2024 could hold immense potential and promise.

Trade Careers in the Past Decade

Over the past ten years, new trends in the skilled trades have allowed vocational careers to ascend to new heights of demand, with qualified professions being more sought after than ever before. Thanks to government initiatives such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Chips and Science act, and the Inflation Reduction Act opportunities for those looking to take part in the energy sector and trade careers are projected to rise like never before. Yet despite the spike in high-paying positions, when it comes to these industries, job openings have proven to be difficult to fill.

For those unfamiliar with the complexity of maintaining a country’s infrastructure, this surge in demand for labor jobs may come as a surprise. After all, its juxtaposition with the rise in accessibility to remote employment, a flourishing tech industry, and an increasing ability to do pretty much anything from the comfort of your home may seem a bit contradictory. Yet, despite their polarity, these transitions are more closely interlinked than one might imagine and can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, an increasing demand for sustainability efforts has profoundly impacted careers in the construction and building industries. As our communities become more environmentally conscious, emphasizing green building practices to reduce environmental impact and promote energy efficiency has also become a greater priority. Consequently, the demand for trade professionals with green building certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has surged as businesses and organizations seek skilled workers capable of implementing sustainable solutions and meeting stringent environmental standards in construction projects. Additionally, technological advancements have ushered in an era of innovation and specialization. From smart construction techniques to renewable energy installations, trade professionals are at the forefront of shaping a more efficient and sustainable future.

Who Can Become a Trade Professional?

One of the most appealing aspects of pursuing a trade career is its inclusivity and accessibility. Unlike traditional academic pathways, trade professions welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate, a military veteran, or someone seeking a career change, there’s a place for you in the world of skilled trades. To make things even better, professionals who take on this challenge have many paths to pick from. Trade jobs can encompass a wide range of specialties, including carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, HVAC installation, welding, and beyond. Regardless of your interests or aptitudes, there’s a trade career suited to your skills and passions.

Advancements like the increase in the participation of women in construction employment over the past couple of years, which reached 10.9% in 2022 present a shift in industry norms. Yet, despite these improvements it is also important to note that only 4% represents women who work in the trades, leaving the majority as office and clerical workers.  But for the initiatives mentioned above to be successful, people of all backgrounds and demographics need to be able and willing to participate in skilled trades and energy careers.

Becoming a Trade Professional

Embarking on a career in the trades begins with acquiring the necessary skills and certifications. While formal education programs and apprenticeships are common pathways to trade professions, there are multiple skill development and training avenues. Trade schools and vocational programs offer comprehensive training in specific fields, equipping students with hands-on experience and industry-recognized credentials. Apprenticeship programs can also provide valuable opportunities to learn from experienced professionals while earning a wage and gaining practical skills on the job.

By investing in lifelong learning and skill enhancement, trade professionals can ensure continued success and advancement in their careers.

Whether you’re drawn to the prospect of meaningful work, competitive salaries, or the satisfaction of building and repairing the world around you, trade careers offer a fulfilling and rewarding path forward. By embracing the possibilities of trade professions in 2024 and beyond, individuals can unlock their full potential and contribute to the advancement of society as a whole.

According to the 2021 BLS, total construction employment alone is forecasted to rise from 7.03 million in 2020 to 7.28 million in 2031, for a net need of more than 25,000 workers per year. This represents an average annual construction employment growth of 3.6% per year. If you want to start your assent to a new and fulfilling career in the trades, there is no better time than now. For more information and resources regarding energy and vocational careers, visit Smart Energy Education and Upstryve today.